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Pr. Geo's County Exec field crowded in public, empty on paper

Take a look at the list of people officially filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections to run for Prince George's County Executive and one detail stands out: It's empty.

Despite at least five people who have said they are running for the post and a handful more who are rumored to be considering it, none has officially filed as a candidate for next year's primary, according to a list last updated Wednesday on the state Web site.

There are several possible reasons for this, said Paul S. Herrnson, director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland. For one, some who say they are running or are considering running may change their minds. (Example: State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey). Candidates also want to raise a sizable amount of money before they officially throw their hats in the ring, Herrnson said.

"You want to get in there and in your first appearance, appear invincible," he said.

Then there are sneakier motives for waiting to file. A candidate can always float his or her name, garner a chunk of support, and then strike a deal to drop out and endorse a likely winner who may promise a post in the new administration in return.

Candidates have until July 6 to file with the board of elections.

Former Del. Rushern L. Baker III, County Sheriff Michael A. Jackson, County Council member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville), County Council member Tony Knotts (D-Temple Hills) and Del. Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's) have all said they are running. Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-Prince George's) is also rumored to be weighing a bid, but she said Thursday she has not made up her mind yet.

In addition, two others may be worth watching: Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George's) and Henry Turner Jr., chairman of the county veterans commission. Both have confirmed they will attend a candidate interview with the Prince George's deputy sheriff's union on Dec. 30 to try to gain the union's endorsement, according to union president Robert A. Cease.

Calls to Muse and Turner were not immediately returned Thursday.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  December 17, 2009; 3:11 PM ET
Categories:  Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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